Summary: In the article, the authors characterize the recent panic over SEL in terms of of the children’s story, “Henny Penny.” In that story, Henny Penny fears that the sky is falling after being hit by an acorn. This analogy is apt in the sense that the current concern over SEL is not based in the facts of the matter. The authors go on the provide evidence about the value of SEL and its components in the natural development of children. They cite data from state departments of education and other sources supporting the need for these skills for success in life.
Source: Robert F Sherman and Patricia McVeigh-Lally, EdSurge, May 20, 2022
Description: “Like Henny, we must now evaluate the facts around SEL. At a time when students, families, schools and districts are still grappling with the trauma of the last two years, including a mental health crisis among youth, we can ill-afford a frenzied battle based in grievance and fear-mongering, ignoring the advances made in our understanding of how young people learn and develop. We cannot turn away from the responsibility to ensure that our children master social and emotional skills that can substantially improve their chances for a lifetime of greater wellbeing and success as workers and citizens in a diverse society. The data is in, and it is conclusive: SEL is a safe and useful acorn. The sky is not falling. Of course, we don’t mean to diminish any concerned parent’s right to ask questions about their child’s education and to ensure their child’s safety. Rather, we caution them to be alert to opportunist “Foxy Loxys,” who seek to weaponize that concern for political gain.”